Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Discussion in 'Sports and Fitness' started by Jono, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There is only 3 or 4 rugby fans here so instead of having separate threads for the comps and internationals it makes sense to just have a one super thread to cover it all.

    The RC started this weekend for four of the Australian teams due to the Lions tour. We had the Force vs Rebels on Friday with a close win to the Rebels, but the one I'm interested in was the Brumbies vs Reds tonight. Glad to say the Brumbies won 24 - 6. Only two tries, both to the Brumbies, one right near the start and one at the death, the last one an intercept of a Cooper pass. A bit scrappy in places, but it's good to see the team I support come away with a win...especially against the Reds (the only win I'd value more is against the Crusaders due to the competitiveness between the two sides in the Brumbies glory years).

    Edit: Oh, and Rathbone made his return. He played around 65 minutes and was not bad for a guy who has been out for a couple of years.
     
  2. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Cool, rugby's back. In mid-February. :lol:

    It's a big and important year for rugby in Australia, with the Lions tour and a new boss who seems enthusiastic about and determined to get the sport back on track. One hopes childish interstate parochialism will be put aside...eh, who am I kidding, hell will freeze over before some officials in this country grow up and think nationally rather than about what goes on in their back yard.

    Even with the assorted changes in Tahland - most notably, a coach who from all accounts doesn't take crap from anyone - I'm not going to approach this season with any high hopes. I do hope, though, that we play a hell of a lot better than last year (a modest enough goal, given how crap we were) - for the sake of rugby in this country NSW needs to get its act together.

    I still detest the Brumbies but I'm stoked to see Clyde Rathbone back. He's had a very rough time of it in the past three or four years and I hope for his sake that he's well and stays well. :bolian:
     
  3. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I watched both of the matches this weekend, the Rebels got a tight win against the Force, and great to see the Brumbies stick it to the Reds last night, and the Reds ending up at the bottom of the Australian conference due to not getting a bonus point :techman:. Can't wait for next weekend when the NZ and SA conferences start. I'd like the Chiefs and Blues - the closest teams to where I am - to both make it to at least the playoffs this year. Already saw one prediction that the Stormers will win this year, not gonna happen if they're planning on defending their way to the finals again.

    Btw, what was up with James O'Connor's chicken haircut on Friday night? :wtf: Made the old Bieber haircut look manly!
     
  4. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I guess he just like it or something. He got it shaved off on Sat or Sunday anyway so it will be a few months until he is confusing the public with his crazy hairstyles again.
     
  5. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Chiefs beat the Highlanders 41-27 in Dunedin just now, what an awesome game to start the NZ conference! The scoreline really doesn't show what a close battle it was for 70 minutes. No idea why John Kirwan let Gareth Anscombe go from the Blues, that might come back to bite them later on this year with a hell of a defense at fullback, not to mention the 8 out of 9 successful kicks at goal tonight. Nice tries from both sides especially both of Tim Nanai-Williams' induvidual efforts. Just waiting for the Rebels vs Brumbies game to start now, hope it's as exciting as this game :techman:

    EDIT: If the Highlanders vs Chiefs was a full frontal assault kind of game, the Rebels vs Brumbies was a war of attrition until about 60 minutes into the game, when the Rebels lost O'Connor to a headknock, Beale suffered a left shoulder injury but somehow managed to stay on, and Saffy managed to get yellow carded within five minutes of coming on, 13-30 at full time. Great to see the Rebels manage to hang on for so long until the Brumbies finally broke the defenses at the end of the game. I would like the Rebels to start forming a quality fourth Australian Super Rugby side, this being their third season in the competition, but instead it looks like they are heading down the same route as the Force, unfortunately, ie largely unremarkable with a few superstars sprinkled in here and there.

    Next up are the Bulls vs Stormers, not sure if I'll bother to get up at 6 am for the SA conference opener though, I'd like to see what they are forming up to!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  6. Infern0

    Infern0 Captain Captain

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    Is the England Vs France game on in the six nations this weekend? I don't watch much rugby these days but that could be an interesting game.
     
  7. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Yes, it's on today (Saturday).

    As NCC1701 stated the Brumbies won 30-13. They also equalled a Super rugby record with their 6th win in a row on the road. Good to see them get the bonus point as well. Like last week it was close in the first half, but the Brumbies kept the opposition scoreless in the second.

    This weekend also saw the first Japanese players make their debuts in Super Rugby with Fumiaki Tanaka appearing for the Highlanders and Shota Horie for the Rebels. Nice to see players coming from Japan instead of moving there for a change!
     
  8. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Big statement of intent as the Blues beat the Hurricanes in Wellington, 34-20, especially the second half. Will certainly spice up next weekend's Blues game against the Cruisaders in Auckland, it's a big improvement over last year's start already!

    Watched the Reds vs Waratahs game last night as well, despite several opportunities the Waratahs squandered most of them and lost 17-25 unfortunately. The Sharks unsurprisingly beat the Cheetahs as well despite a second half surge by the home side, going down 22-29. And the Kings thrashed the Force 22-10 in their first Super Rugby game, welcome to the competition guys!

    Also, France lost their third game in a row, going down 13-23 against England. Damn, would have liked the French to pull of one of their characteristic surprise wins, but it wasn't to be.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  9. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    So the Waratahs lost. There's a shocker. The missed opportunities part sounds very (and tediously) familiar. Hopefully Michael Cheika can knock these blokes into shape sooner rather than later, or it could be another long season.

    Losing to Queensland is never acceptable but it's slightly more tolerable than the Force keeling over to the new South African side. That's just pathetic.
     
  10. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    George Smith is returning to the Brumbies! When I saw the headline I thought it he was going to join the list of former players being consultants that the Brumbies have, but he is coming back as a player to filled the place left by Ita Vaea who is out for the season due to a blood clot. Hopefully he can make the step back up to Super rugby and have a positive impact.
     
  11. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    And the Blues get another bonus point win this week, destroying the Crusaders 34-15, five tries to none, the Crusaders having two balls held up over the try line and another denied due to Israel Dagg's double movement, first time I've seen the TMO using the new 'two phases to try' rule and denying the try. It's a good sign for the rest of the season for the Blues, the Crusaders will have to head to Wellington and try again next week. The Blues face the Bulls next Sunday arvo, which should be another good game.

    Got two more games to go tonight, not sure who I want to win between the Waratahs and the Rebels, but I hope the Hurricanes manage a win at fortress Suncorp later on!
     
  12. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Tahs came away with the win. I didn't really care, but I was hoping for the Rebels purely because they never beat the Tahs before. The Rebels need to address why they have let the opposition go away with it in the second half before it becomes a habit.
     
  13. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    A Waratahs win! :eek:

    It would seem they made ridiculously hard work of it, but it's a start. Hopefully the start of a winning streak to match the lengthy losing one they've managed to end.

    Good thing Australian rugby doesn't have a league-style salary cap, because a lot of questions would be being asked about this setup otherwise.
     
  14. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I'm not sure if you're joking or not...
     
  15. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Hurricanes really shot themselves in the foot for the second week in a row, the Reds beating them 18-12 despite the visitors spending pretty much the last quarter of the match camped in Queensland's 22. Handling errors everywhere - to be expected in the conditions - and Beauden Barrett's goal radar was having a rare off night. Will mean both the Canes and Crusaders will be desperate next weekend after a poor season start by both teams.

    Chiefs vs Cheetahs are on in less than half an hour in Hamilton, I'm about ready for a running rugby match after last night's dreadful match in Brisbane. Still tossing up whether to get up at 6 am to watch the Sharks vs Stormers match, I think I'll give the Bulls vs Force match a miss, though :guffaw:
     
  16. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Depends on what part of my post you're talking about. :D But I'll assume it's the Smith bit, and no, I'm not. Under a league-type salary cap, it would probably be considered just a bit suss - to put it mildly - that someone of his stature has been signed to cover the unfortunate absence of someone no one's ever heard of. But as it is, in all likelihood no one will turn a hair.
     
  17. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Someone did raise the issue, which is why I was wondering.

    Looks like the Force were very competitive for 70 mins before getting blown away by two late tries to the Bulls. I feel a bit sorry for them. They have been gutted in the last two seasons with players leaving and because they are over in the west they almost feel like the forgotten Australian team.
     
  18. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Brumbies swept the Tahs away 35 - 6 tonight with a bonus point win. They were better across the park and really the only downside was the serious injury to Pocock at the 13th minute of the match. Looks like he did his ACL and could be out for 6 months, which does make getting Smith back even more fortuitous. The Brumbies discipline at times wasn't great with 2 yellow cards. Carter kept infringing in the ruck and Alexander stamping on a player right in front of the ref was not a smart move and it would lucky that Robinson was going to get binned away or they would have had to play a quarter of the game one man down. Against teams that are clearly off the pace you can get away with this, but against the top NZ or SA teams and they will make you pay.

    Brumbies are doing well, but to be fair they have only played Australian sides so it will be interesting to see how they do in SA over the next two weeks. Amazingly they don't meet a NZ side until round 9 when they play the Highlanders away. Hopefully injuries will be kind and the form will stick and the Brumbies will remain to be strong contenders for the finals.
     
  19. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Sounds like pretty standard fare from the Tahs. Cheika will now be aware of the scale of the problem he's dealing with, but I have to hope for the sake of Australian rugby and my sanity that he can find a way.

    The Pocock injury, if it's as serious as suspected, is unfortunate but not a disaster. Openside is one of the few areas in which we have any sort of depth, and ACLs have long since ceased to be career-enders. And since Smith has (conveniently) re-signed with them it's not as though Jono's lot will be that badly affected, either. :p
     
  20. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Bad weekend for the NZ conference as all three games against South African sides were losses, the Highlanders getting owned at home by the Cheetahs 19-36, the Chiefs losing away to the Stormers 34-36 (two yellow cards didn't exactly help, either, discipline still seems to be a problem for the Chiefs) and the Blues losing to the Bulls for the first time at Eden Park 21-28. Not sure what JK was thinking making six changes from the team that won the past two weeks, against the Bulls of all teams, I'm sure he had his reasons. At least the Hurricanes managed to win over the Crusaders 29-28 in Wellington. And at least the local teams can all learn from their mistakes and hopefully turn things around next weekend.
     

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